Roasted Butternut Squash & Blood Orange Salad With A Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette

A spinach salad topped with oven roasted, tender bite sized pieces of caramelized butternut squash.

Add to that creamy diced avocado pieces, sweet juicy slices of blood orange, tangy tasting goat cheese and drizzled with a Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette.

Butternut squash is so versatile that it pairs with just about anything you’re cooking up for dinner.

From chicken, like this Roasted Sausage with Apples and Butternut Squash, to pork and pasta, like this Gluten-Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash.

It even makes for deliciously flavored soups, like this Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup.

Read More Here About Cooking With Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash & Blood Orange Salad With A Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette

The Salad Items

4 cups loosely packed, baby spinach or for a more peppery taste baby arugula

2 cups 1/2 inch cubed roasted butternut squash

1 medium firm avocado, peeled, pitted, cubed

2 medium blood oranges, peeled, remove pith, sliced

1/2 cup feta cheese or goat cheese

Roasting The Butternut Squash

2 cups butternut squash, cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over butternut squash – season with salt and pepper – spread evenly over parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Roast for 15 minutes or until tender and browned. Let squash cool to room temperature.

Making The Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette

1/2 cup pecan halves

 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tbsp real maple syrup

1 large garlic clove, minced

 3/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir the nuts constantly with a spatula until they become fragrant and a little golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the toasted pecans to a plate and let cool completely.

With an immersion blender or food processor, add toasted pecans, vinegar, maple syrup, and minced garlic.

While blending, slowly add in olive oil. Blend until completely smooth. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Add a bite of water only if needed to thin vinaigrette.

Pour vinaigrette into a jar with a tight lid and place jar into refrigerator until ready to use.

Plating The Salad

Divide spinach evenly between two salad plates (2 cups each). Top each plate of spinach evenly with cooled butternut squash, cubed avocado, blood orange slices and cheese.

Drizzle desired amount of Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette over each salad and serve.

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